Friday, January 31, 2014

The Nose Weener Update

Sorry for the delay in updates! I've been working on a few details regarding what is written below.

Last Friday the vet came out to take a look at Ben's "growth." As it turns out, this tumor appears to be much more serious than I was expecting. Upon proper inspection, the nose weener is GINORMOUS. It is blocking roughly 70% of his right nostril. It is also quite inflamed, and sore.

Basically, "it" needs to be removed. And removed it will be. Unfortunately, though, there are some challenges, because nothing is ever easy when it comes to horses.

  • Location Part I: This is not a fly-by-night routine surgery. It is a delicate deal, in a delicate area. As such, there are not many places that are equipped to handle such procedures. This means that Ben has to go to Washington State University to get this taken care of. Our vet has already talked to their soft tissue surgeon, and they will do the procedure and biopsy.
  • Location Part II: WSU is a 6-7 hour drive. I do not own a truck or a trailer. So I must find transportation. I reached out to my horsie friends and have the return trip taken care of, but not the trip there. TBD on that.
  • Money: This is going to be costly. Enough said.
  • Time: Ben is on immediate leisure time. No more work for him. Gentle walks in a halter, and turnout. He will have a multiple day stay in the hospital post surgery.  From there, he will need some time off to fully recover, but that time is TBD.
 So there we have it. With so much to coordinate as well as the sheer expense of this procedure, Ben's surgery will likely be in April. Travel will be much safer anyway, with fewer storms coming through and causing trouble in the mountain passes. Both the vet and surgeon believe he is okay to wait until the spring.

 I will keep this updated with the actual date, and when the time draws near, I will obviously post about the journey.  Thank you in advance for all the good vibes and well wishes- we're going to need them!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Crappy January

Oh January, how much I dislike you. So wet, cold, and windy. You make horse-keeping no fun at all.

Okay, with that little vent over...Ben is doing alright. I'm trying to do a bit more with him, just to get his body moving and in shape again.

On my to-do list for this big guy includes a visit from our vet. I am going to see about putting him back on injections, since they did help SO much last year. He's been getting an oral joint supplement, and I just don't think it is working. For the $, we can do better.

But before I do that, something else needs to be looked at. Awhile ago, while playing with Ben in the arena, I happened to be positioned in a perfect spot, with the perfect light that cast up into his right nostril. Much to my surprise/dismay did I see a giant thing dangling in there - a thing I semi-affectionately call his nose-weener. Ben has always been a bit shy about the right side of his face being touched, and has always been super fussy about his face in general- twirling his head, tilting it when making contact...all of which we had attributed to either training/behavioral issues/body stiffness/soreness elsewhere). At one point I also thought maybe it was his teeth...

While correct training has definitely HELPED him become more steady in the contact while being ridden, it has not resolved the overall problem. Even alone, at play in turnout, Ben swings his head around. I began to assume maybe it was just a quirky thing about him.

But now, having found the nose-weener, I'm thinking differently.  It is time to have it checked out by a vet- as the few people I have shown it to have been also completely freaked out. It could be an old injury...or it could be a growth of some kind.  Nevertheless, we need to know what it is, and how much it is impacting his life. Is it removeable? Is it impeding his breathing (remember me saying Ben is a giant quitter and gets tired quickly...?)? WHAT is it???

Before I go any further I need to know what we're dealing with. Ben's quality of life is first and foremost, and I will do my very best to keep him healthy and living the good, happy life. I am hoping to have an answer within the next couple of weeks, and of course I will post an update as soon as I know something.